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Preview: Rowan's Battle of Britain
by Bob "Groucho" Marks
Game: Battle of Britain
Version: Pre-Release Beta
Category: Air Combat Simulation (WWII)
Developer: Rowan Software
Publisher: Empire Interactive
Release Date: NA - January 2001, UK - Released
Links: | Playable Demo | First Look Preview | Message Forum |
Article Date: December 12th, 2000
Article Type: Preview
There is a story oft told---the tale of an epic struggle between conflicting ideologies, one in which the fate of an entire nation teetered on the brink. While actually just a few short weeks in duration, this melee seemed to last an eternity to those brave souls who joined in battle to fend off the invading evil hordes. No, I'm not talking about my United States's legal battles over the U.S. presidential election. Of course I'm talking about England's finest hour: The Battle of Britain.
Battle of Britain (BoB), is a WWII air combat simulation offering from the UK-based Rowan Software development team, and is published worldwide by Empire Interactive. BoB is definitely one of the more focused combat flight simulations to date, as it deals exclusively on the battle for air supremacy over Southern England and the English Channel between July and September of 1940. By condensing their field of view so narrowly, Rowan has been able to pump an incredible amount of detail into one sim. BoB is based heavily on Rowan’s previous effort, MiG Alley. As such, BoB shares not only many of the basic user interface cues of its predecessor, but also the flight sim / strategy game hybrid structure of MiG Alley.
I provided a more panoramic overview of BoB, in my First Look: Rowan’s Battle of Britain article here on COMBATSIM.COM back in October. That article was based on a more primitive build, and in it I expressed misgivings as to the graphical quality and stability of what I had seen. Recently, however, after having had the opportunity to put the newest, not-quite-Gold build of BoB, through its paces, it is with great pleasure that I have to admit something: Where I pilloried Battle of Britain in that First Look piece I must admit, I was premature with my criticism on most points.
Reeling 'em in.
King of the Dogfight
I’m going to come right out and spew praise where praise is due: Hardcore brethren, this is a fantastic dogfight simulator. Looketh not to the pretenders---Combat Flight Simulator 2 or even the sainted European Air War. If it’s a realistic furball experience you crave, you will have got to load-up BoB. The lads at Rowan have given birth to the most aggravating, difficult, exasperating, yet ultimately rewarding ACM sim in existence. Really. This is not your typical turn & burn, yank & bank, become-an-ace-every-mission combat flight sim. In full realism, you will not bag a kill every mission, nor will you necessarily be cannon fodder every time out. There is a great balance here; somewhat of a rarity in combat sims these days.
An Me-109-E4 Emil goes vertical after slashing a Spitfire.
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